NC Ag Commissioner Worried about Lack of Farm Bill Progress
The 2012 farm bill has made little progress, due in no small part to congressional work on averting a the so-called 'fiscal cliff'. North Carolina Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is concerned that nothing will be done on the farm bill before the end of the year, when many programs expire.
While talk of passing an extension has surfaced from time to time, Troxler says it's not that easy…by the time the details of an extension are worked out, a new farm bill could be written and passed.
Troxler says all we can do now is just continue to push for new farm legislation.
“I wish I could say that I anticipated something happening in the next 30 days, but they are focused on the fiscal cliff right now. Everyone in the Ag committee is asking if they are going to do anything about a farm bill before they adjourn, and if they don’t, they are kind of creating a fiscal cliff for the Ag world.
The question has been, will it pass or will they have an extension, or will they do nothing and right now there are no answers. As President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, my colleagues and me are working all across the country to push Congress to act on this farm bill. We have heard the speculation that they will pass an extension, but there are leaders up there that are opposed to an extension.
An extension is not as simple as it sounds. There are so many programs that are addressed in the farm bill and some do not have baselines. Some of these decision that they are going to have to make are really going to impact things like international marketing. So if you are going to go to all that trouble, why don’t you come to an agreement and pass a farm bill.
It’s not acceptable and we will just keep pushing and see if we can spur them to do something.
Without a farm bill going into 2013, the Dairy industry will feel it the most. They will begin to take effect in January and there are just so many little things you can point at. We just need a farm bill now.”